Why Mark Wahlberg Can’t Be Stopped

Josh Horowitz gushes about Marky Mark, 'Star Trek' and everything else that gets him giddy.

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a column on the regular for far too long. It’s January, the time of reinvention, recommitment, rebirth and any other “re” words you’re particularly fond of. So here we go, my friends. There’s plenty to whine about, but that’s the easy way out, right? Instead, I want to write about the good stuff, the movies and actors and trends that are getting me giddy. So, like myself, this column is going to be a little bit silly, a little bit serious, and hopefully it’ll give you a little peek into the crazy gig I’ve got at MTV News, where I’ve been talking to people far prettier than I for years now. Let’s do it.

Marky Mark And His Funky Career
A little while back, Mark Wahlberg told me about a film he was developing that would star him and Justin Bieber . I asked him what made him think Bieber’s got “it” — ie. the chops to star in a film alongside a veteran. He said, “It’s there — and if not, I will extract it.” And you know what? I believe him.

This week marks the latest return to the big screen for Wahlberg, a.k.a. the hardest working man in showbiz. Can we all agree that Wahlberg has done more with his career than any of us thought possible back when he was best known for dropping his pants or making like Jack Torrance in “Fear”? This week’s release is “Contraband,” and while it’s not going to lead off the AFI retrospective of his career one day, it isn’t bad, especially for a flick coming in the notoriously lean days of January.

The point is that Wahlberg can’t be stopped. Look at the list of directors that he’s racked up in the last decade — Jonathan Demme, Martin Scorsese, David O. Russell, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson. Meanwhile, he’s the guy who brought this Scorsese guy over to HBO for “Boardwalk Empire.”

As for his acting career, he’s certainly turned into a consistently bankable action guy. And he’s got a pretty nice comedy career going with a nice turn in “The Other Guys” (“Bye, Sheila!”) and one of my personal must-sees in 2012, “Ted,” in which he trades quips with a foul-mouthed teddy bear. It’s from Seth MacFarlane, so be optimistic.

I’ve gotten to know Mark pretty well over the last few years (if you’d have told me ten years ago that I’d get along famously with the artist formerly known as Marky Mark, I’d have looked for the crack vials at your feet). What I’ve found is a guy who is a hustler in the best possible sense. He’s always got a thousand projects he’s juggling. And, by the way, he’s a frickin’ wild man who can be seriously funny.

When Wahlberg came in to participate in a bit called “The Knife Show” with Will Ferrell, I knew Will would make the bit soar, but it was Mark who killed it (and nearly me) in the end.

Let’s hear it for the underdog.

Odds & Ends
· I’m such a dorky trekkie, you have no idea. (OK, you probably do). The fact that the Trek team landed on Benedict Cumberbatch is a good thing. I’ve only caught a bit of his work on Sherlock, but he’s the unsung hero of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and clearly pops in his few scenes in “War Horse.” This one’s coming together nicely. And for the record: I want him to be Khan!

· Could “Haywire” look any cooler? I’ve missed a few opportunities to see this one, but I’ll be shocked if I’m not thoroughly entertained by Gina Carano kicking the crap out of the likes of Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum. Looks to be a bright spot in January.

· If you haven’t checked out MTV’s Movies Brawl 2012, what are you waiting for? It’s that glorious time of year when every movie looks like it’s going to be awesome! Remember how great “Jack and Jill” looked on paper? OK, bad example.

· What’s on my agenda this week? I’m sitting down with the cast of “The Hunger Games,” so send your questions/concerns/comments my way! (Tweet me @joshuahorowitz) And catch our coverage of the Golden Globes this Sunday night! I’ll be on the carpet with a long net to capture Ryan Gosling and bring him back for the ladies of the office. Check back in next week and see if I succeeded.

What are you waiting for? Your must-see movie needs your support. It’s time to show character, poise and heart. Vote for your picks now at MTV Movie Brawl 2012!